27 Apr 2020

Vanuatu cyclone recovery hampered by boat availability

6:44 pm on 27 April 2020

Disaster officials in Vanuatu say they're being challenged by the small number of vessels available to transport relief supplies to communities devastated by Cyclone Harold.

Aerial shot of Luganville

Aerial shot of Luganville Photo: Leo Pax

The category five storm tore a path of destruction through central and northern part of the country earlier this month.

Thousands of people have been impacted, with the Red Cross reporting 90 percent of buildings in Luganville, the second biggest centre in the country, being damaged or destroyed.

The logistics coordinator at the Disaster Management Office, Jimmy Naura, said shipping supplies from Port Vila to the affected islands was difficult because many ships had been washed ashore or damaged by the cyclone.

However, Mr Naura said so far 80 percent of the affected communities had been reached and the NDMO was doing its best to deliver supplies to everyone in need.

"And still some other areas that we couldn't access because of the constraints for road access. So then we have to use the chopper the helicopters to transport the relief supplies especially the NFIs the non-food-items and food rations to the affected communities," he said.

Mr Naura expressed gratitude for international donations, from France, Australia and New Zealand in particular.

He said all relief supplies were going through a decontamination process for Covid-19 in Port Vila before being shipped to affected communities.